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tv   [untitled]    July 25, 2012 8:30pm-9:00pm EDT

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more news today violence is once again flared up. and these are the images the world has been seeing from the streets of canada. giant corporations are all today .
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if you. still. want to. follow in welcome to cross talk i'm with you is end game inside for the assad regime with the u.s. in a regional ally seeking to subvert diplomacy and the warning from damascus they will use chemical weapons in face with foreign intervention it would appear the syrian civil war is that it chipping. can. start. to cross-talk serious possible endgame i'm joined by carl shohreh in london he's a middle east blogger in chicago we have steven lemon he is a blogger and author and in los angeles we cross to ravi said he is a policy analyst and an ambassador for the national iranian american council all
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right gentlemen crosstalk rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want karl let me go to you first where do we go from here damascus says it has chemical weapons and the u.s. and its regional allies have no interest in diplomacy anymore where do we go. i think. let's clarify one thing that all this talk about tipping point and game i think is very exaggerated and it all started with the explosion last week that killed several of like a former and current defense minister and security leaders and now is basically a very high quality or peroration though is really a dramatic operation but in terms of the real dynamics on the ground in syria they're not going to shift very much and in fact what we have seen this is sort of given an impetus to the syrian regime to try to retreat take the damascus so i predict that this balance of kind of burn floor of the syrian uprising will continue there is no substantive kind of qualitative or quantitative change in the
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balance of power but it seems that there's sort of this imagined momentum and the area wakened interest of the west now that the chemical weapons are mentioned is sort of might propel this external dynamic to change which we need to focus on because it's not directly linked to what's happening on the ground in syria i mean it's been going on for sixteen months why all of a sudden now the talk of chemical weapons become such a priority and securing them this is the interesting angle we need to look at it carol thank you to stay with you you're saying the level a lebanese situation the fifteen year civil war. not necessarily that long but i say not in length will be in the type of car yet. in terms of the type of conflict unfortunately and i have to clarify i'm with a spear a sions for freedom of the syrian people but what i have warned against from the
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beginning is if there's no clear political leadership with a clear political message ultimately another dynamic will take over which is the sectarian dynamic and i have long said sort of this is not deterministic this is not bound to happen it's not fertile estate but where is the politics why our people are reluctant to join up from other communities in syria with this uprising and that political failure means that the sectarian dynamic will get enhanced and it is very interesting man you know i'm kind of if i go to you in los angeles it's a very interesting thing we just heard from karl i mean is are of a political agenda the can coalesce the people in syria. well all i think. we can say the month of july was a turning point. since the uprising started sixteen months ago you see the more improved. performance and and coordination and capability and
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capabilities by the by the local opposition groups and and and the rebels in syria i think they're they're trying to to to concentrate on damascus and aleppo to send a message to the syrian people to call is the syrian people that there is is more while noble and then it's pretty project and there is you cannot hold the stability and as you know the syrian regime they they have been citing the calmness in damascus repeatedly to strengthen their argument that the they they enjoy support in syria but i think it's now it's very hard for them to sustain that argument and you see now a tactical shift in the strategies that the rebel are using and in order to to to to as you mentioned to call is the syrian people and to to convince the silent to middle class spatially and we ask. different fick hereon communities can get along because this radical sunni is coming out of saudi arabia we've seen this before
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haven't we afghanistan. well i think you're right i mean if the friend players strive to take side with different parties in syria and to try to to to secure their own national interests you might see what you mentioned it's like this civil war in lebanon or or iraq or or afghanistan but i think. probably you also would see as the violence increases in syria as more people being probably you see a friend saying when if i don't go you might come again or if if i can go to you i mean the outlying forces that are involved in the civil war in there are numerous here do they have are they on the same page or we just looking at maybe a spanish civil war we've already talked about lebanon how about spain in the one nine hundred thirty s. . oh peter let me think categorically what's going on in syria i've written
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volumes of what's going on here at times i rate every single day well what's going on this morning before i came to the studio i drafted a new article for tomorrow and my title is syria threatens no one syria is a nonbelligerent country what's going on is not an uprising it's not a revolution it's not a civil war the i.c.r.c. was paid eight million dollars by washington to lie to lie is if their lie change international law international law did not change and it's very clear in categorical it says no nation may interfere in the internal affairs of another except in self-defense syria attacked no one serious threat and no one doesn't threaten its neighbors doesn't threaten israel doesn't threaten the
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west what's going on in syria since last since winter two thousand and eleven is weston weston generated violence for one purpose washington planned this years ago general wesley clark former nato commander wrote about it in his book winning modern wars he visited the pentagon right around the nine eleven period and he was told by high officials in the pentagon that washington planned regime change in about half a dozen regional countries afghanistan of course iraq libya syria ok. let me go to carla and then here and stephen just mentioned all those countries as ever as it ever worked out very well. can i just say some day oh i mean i think stephen is sort of getting himself a bit more than a bit confused and receiving that amongst a lot of western anti imperialist is this desire to oppose western intervention is
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kind of pushing them in the direction of kind of the store thing if you like what's happening on the ground or a distorted understanding of what's happening in the ground i think also the other problem is this appearance that the us has any clear sense of purpose or clarity in the middle east has been completely shattered and that's even more destructive because the united states now in the middle east because it doesn't have a clear sense of purpose is just very detrimental to stability and this is what we need to focus on so unfortunately i mean far from the u.s. having a clear plan about how they react to the course of events it's sort of persisting in this sustained level of meddling that has not sense of purpose and allowing its allies to do all sorts of things but it doesn't have a clear idea which is more devastating that is likely to push all these conflicts around the middle east into kind of them further kind of sustained period of time because the u.s. simply doesn't seem to be clear about how it establishes stability how it
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astonishes or there how even wrote us it's going on and why should it why should it be in the position to do that karl. well this is this is kind of a historical analogy because i think we have to shift in our understanding of kind of imperialism it was clear in the past and actually it made our job easier because it was clear it was clear for us to now there's a level of incompetence and lack of foresight in washington and that's actually reflecting very badly on this situation on the ground so you talk about how they exited from here are cleaving the country in a complete shambles and not taking responsibility for the way they did before and inviting iran and syria to come into iraq and allow the new cabinet to be formed and all that kind of thing only for them either later to sort of turn against syria and suddenly becomes the pariah states there's no sense of consistency and this is what we need to pay attention and i think a lot of people are serious threats go to los angeles magid you want to jump in
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there go ahead. if i can just add to. what your guest said earlier that syria is not a danger to any body and it's not a revolution i just want to see some facts that started with a localized movement in daraa with some children first writing graffiti on the wall and then being tortured and in order family went to police station they told them that go and make new children for these ones and i. went with my she said why is there an injury or why i don't know western intervention into bryant brain then. well i think syria is a strategic an important country for any trouble the rain is on syria would be reverberate across the region i think we can't just go inside a country and change it the head of states and well that should say you are something doing. purse the u.s. has been doing that for at least a decade if not longer well. well i just want to point person i mean i.
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i mean you can make an argument if syria's a danger to our country but the definitely is danger for its own people i personally be in that country i know the political suppression in that country and what the people are going through now and how can can if i can ask your guest how can he explain the thousands of syrian people who are being killed their life being sacrificed how can he say to them that this is not. in our pricing and this is all like what the syrian regime maintains the line this is all conspirators and western backed terrorists even you want to jump in there before we go to the break or absolutely. it absolutely is western back in america karl america has a very clear purpose it what it's doing it again this was planned many many years ago the purpose is regime change america tolerates no independent regimes all of the countries that america goes to war against in the ones it plans to go to war
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against are independent governments that i'm not a one sided or even i have to many here gentlemen we're going to go to a short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on syria stay. the take. the to. get out sometimes you see a story and it seems so you think you understand it and then you glimpse something else you hear or see some other part of it and realize that everything you. are welcome is a big shock. to
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. her old stories is here. for going global. cooling the fire. to. the right. to choose your place to take your stuff to. the bit. to make your statement to. support the we're going to keep my cool street journal.
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and you can see the sort of. mood. welcome back to crossfire i'm here a little to mind you were talking about the syrian civil war. and. the sort of. thing go back to you karl in london many are in western media and politicians are talking about an end game in syria what is that and i mean assad goes in every it happened everyone lives happily ever after ever after i mean what is the end mean. well that's the real problem is the
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question i mean in my next column writing is what is an endgame in syria how do you define that because they're making mistaken analogies with places like egypt and tunisia where you can just sideline the president and then kind of the system can continue in a different way in syria it's a radically different situation if i said leaves tomorrow another person will step in there is a much wider circle that has this power interests so ultimately even if you're talking about the higher echelons of the regime actually leaving you're going to have to i arrive at a political kind of solution that allows that transition to happen and laws like diallo a community the christian minorities all of these people are not to feel threatened by what the very is coming so that the idea that we keep the pressure and then one day bashar al assad will just leave that's not going to happen in syria there's a much more different power structure in there and what we really need to look at
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is what is the political solution and here is the failure of what has become the de facto representative political representative of the syrian uprising the syrian national council which is an utter failure it doesn't have any command of any power on the ground doesn't have any political authority and doesn't have any imagination to come up with a solution or even offer any kind of transitional plan so even if we're talking about military successes on the ground for the uprising that's actually even more dangerous in absence of a form of political control that knows what it's a mean for so i fear that's kind of a very big picture and this talk of an end game is a bit of a hyper at the moment with the political climate if i go to you in los angeles of his side were to suddenly go would you worry about a bloodbath ethnic cleansing. well i think we need a peaceful. transition will know when system all our civil war and i don't usually get a peaceful transition we're in
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a civil war. well i think all i think is going to happen for weeks and months to come i think of i think the basic stalemate that we are witnessing now it's going to continue i think the needed opposition local opposition groups their rebels or the government can we in this battle those internationals they want and i think this will. continue for the months of calm and many probably more young people will become radicalized they will see their relatives being killed and even me take more guns and to defend themselves and you would see also. the government using more force to call these billion so i think these remains to be seen how the transition is going to war much if i can say with you in los angeles this is bode well for a democratic future well i think if if if i think if he now allows a more as i mentioned the peaceful transition you might see i mean you might see different groups coming together and you know the now the the secular of the muslim
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brotherhood all different groups has to come together and. create a pluralistic society but i don't see that still be happening soon ok stephen if i can go to you it's very interesting the assad regime said they have chemical weapons do you think that's going to make the west hesitate a little bit nato because we keep hearing something brought up the subject. well this is all hi peter this is hype and the west brought up the subject of chemical weapons a lot of countries have chemical weapons i deploy them biological weapons nuclear weapons there is no country would with greed greed or are still of weapons of mass destruction in the region than israel is it's well known it's acknowledge they have a huge stockpile of nuclear weapons delivery systems that can send them far distant from is a real they have chemical weapons in the use them peter they've used them in lebanon
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they've used biological weapons they used them against the palestinians in gaza in cast lead and doctors have treated the injured in the dead and they've seen injuries they never saw before from the weapons that israel uses and israel tests new weapons in this war as we use the condemnation of israel where is the condemnation which is the condemnation of the occupation it's a very distorted picture and how this how this ins i have no idea
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for both countries it's the one that drives the policy they didn't unleash this power in fact there's lots of debate in washington now and lots of reluctance to supply weapons because they know it might end up in the hands of al qaida but at the same time this level of persistent meddling and allowing there are allies to meddle. consistently and kind of fueling the fire in syria is very very destructive and i think this component of the chemical weapons is only going to mother the
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picture the big picture now is the syrian people should be allowed to decide their fate for themselves we don't have direct military intervention but we have all sorts of destructive foreign meddling that needs to stop and syria shouldn't be treated as a kind of a regional international playground for all these players to settle their scores mind you if i go to you in los angeles the chemical weapons you can that could be a hope for the u.s. in israel to strike syria. well just let me say i think we are missing the point by focusing base shifting the conversation more on israel and the united states i think if they wanted to to to to change the regime in syria and if the i mean you would say you would think that that would be the best scenario for them just to to change the regime in syria because then they will separate syria from iran and there would weaken iran in their region to the sunni or the closest ally in iran but they haven't done so and they for the sixteen months and they tried in
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my in my judgment they try to to to to wait for international consensus and they haven't he was really any unilateral or or aggressive methods and i think we should more focus on what is going in syria and here is the regional allies like saudi arabia and qatar they're the surrogates for the u.s. . know all i think every country in the region wants to secure its own national interest you have iran's saudi arabia there is the shia sunni confrontation there is the influences of iran in their region and there is hezbollah the all these are the intricate relationship by i think play a role but. i don't think it's the way you characterize it that they are some sort of. some sort of a playing in the hand of the united states or russia or saudi or israel directory. carol in london you want to jump in go ahead yeah because i think that's
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a very important angle i think since the beginning of from tunisia and egypt the beginning of the arab uprising we've seen that saudi arabia and qatar have actually kind of broken free from this american region or there are so to speak which has completely collapsed and we can see very clearly the the declining u.s. influence over here and the lack of clarity about how to restore it which is kind of bridging a this competition between qatar and saudi arabia and again both of those countries kind of put it meddling more aggressively and affairs of other countries i mean just mentioned the example of bahrain where saudi arabia sends out abs and its troops over there without any western condemnation and that's a very clear example of the type of activity that we're seeing and that's again contributing to this further instability because you don't even have that sort of american common factor they used to orchestrate regional policy you have independent competing powers now in even you know between saudi arabia and qatar which is very very destabilizing for the region ok stephen if i go to you
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fundamentally. jump in i fundamentally disagree with it could tar and saudi arabia are working closely with western countries saudi arabia has a deep pockets are doing a lot of funding guitar is got a lot of money as well but but they are actively working with britain with washington with france israel is involved jordan is involved they have broken away . their partners in this in a prize can i bring in one very important thing to talk about transition in syria does anybody remember that i think around march there was a new constitution written for the syrian people it was presented in a national referendum and syrians overwhelmingly voted to pass their constitution i read it i wrote about it not perfect but but really a wonderful constitution a democratic constitution. and in may syria had its first ever free open and fair
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internationally monnet in a parliamentary election it shamed some of the ones that go on in the west and again i mean this was a wonderful achievement transition day on that no you are not always an interesting distraction there but we have run out of time many many thanks today to my guests in london chicago and in los angeles and thanks our viewers for watching us here are going to see you next time and remember. the end of the. story. the subject of. the in. the emissions free accreditation street the store charges free arrangement the free. three stooges free.
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